“You’re a dunce.” “Yeah, but I’m your dunce.”
Another adorable commission from @ghostquack of my beautiful OCs, Zepheera and Orrick
~Featuring my borrower OCs from my Doctor Who/Borrowers crossover series ‘Borrowed Time (and Space)’~
Zepheera was utterly exhausted.
While technically her companions did all the running from the Master’s threats, the four and a half inch tall woman was in an equal state of adrenaline, hanging on tight to her Time Lord’s collar in order to not be thrown off in all the chaos.
Hours later, she sat on Captain Jack Harkness’ shoulder, mostly so she could speak more directly to the Doctor for once. They had finally reached a place of safety, and the captain just returned with hastily scavenged food, a few bags of chips.
Jack lifted a chip to his shoulder, smirking at the pun while Zepheera took it. She eyed it suspiciously; she didn’t often have access to fried food, and when she did it was usually old and mushy and a real hassle for a borrower to eat.
When she expressed her concern, the Doctor vouched for the chips. “Actually, they’re not bad,” he said, munching on another. “Go on, give it a try.”
With a thoughtful frown at the chip in her lap, nearly tall enough to reach Zepheera’s shoulder, she gave a shrug and broke off a small portion of the tip. If she didn’t like it after all, she could always give whatever she didn’t finish to one of the humans.
She gave it a small nibble, and soon found herself finishing her portion, breaking off another piece for seconds.
From her perch on top of the railing around the console, Zepheera watched the two human-sized men across the room. She knew better than anyone that neither of them were human, and in fact, they were the same man.
The TARDIS had gone berserk, throwing the four and a half inch tall woman off the Doctor’s shoulder and halfway across the room. She was thankfully unharmed, but it didn’t take long to notice the entirely new presence. At first Zepheera scrambled to hide from the stranger, but when the Doctor seemed to recognize this man, her wariness shifted to confusion.
This was only magnified when the new man referred to himself as the Doctor, and was seemingly unaware that he was face to face with a future incarnation of his.
Rather than clearing up the confusion and introducing his tiny companion, Zepheera’s Doctor was entirely caught up in his nostalgia and the excitement of the impending crisis. Zepheera had never seen someone so entirely pleased to meet himself.
She’d have to introduce herself, she determined as she dashed across the thick pipe of the railing.
Zepheera would never understand how one could simply drain an entire planet of color, but according to the Doctor it was an extremely malicious procedure. Once every single thing was dulled to black and white, total corrosion of the planet would begin.
When the Time Lord and his four and a half inch tall companion arrived, they were one of the few things left in the area that were not black and white. However, it didn’t take long for them and even the TARDIS were monochromatic. It was a race against the clock to find the machine instigating the calamitous procedure and shut it down so they could even begin to reverse it.
Zepheera clung to the Doctor’s shoulder as he ran through the alien spaceship, nearing the motherboard that could shut down the entire thing and restore the planet to its original state. Desperately, he fished out his sonic screwdriver and gave it a quick buzz, relieved to find it glowing blue. The last color in the world.
“Blimey, you’re a lightweight…” muttered the Doctor, bracing a hand on the console as he dropped to his knees.
“Oi, zip it!” Zepheera called up irritably through the grate of the floor she’d fallen through moments ago. It was one of those rare special occasions that inspired the Doctor to unearth perfectly aged alien wines for his companion and himself to enjoy. Zepheera simply lacked the uncanny Time Lord ability to control just how drunk she got. “I am four and a half inches tall and haven’t touched the stuff in nearly thirty years, I’m the definition of lightweight!”
The Doctor grumbled as he reached down for the handle that would lift up the panel, uncovering his tiny companion sitting on a trunk and staring up at him with her arms crossed.
“Well. Now you know where the floor is. And that it has holes in it.”
“I hate you,” murmured Zepheera, offering no further protest as the Doctor reached down to retrieve his friend.
48. What were their parents like? How has that affected how they are as an adult?
Zepheera’s parents, Tack and Klerida, were a young, loving borrower couple with a happy and healthy baby girl. Klerida was headstrong and set in her ways, determined to have the perfect family. On the other hand, Tack was agreeable yet ambitious. After the birth of his daughter, he knew he wanted the best for her. He had loads of plans for teaching her how to borrow when she got older, and even started learning how to read from the human children’s books (in 1927, it was common for borrowers to go their whole lives without learning how to read or write).
Then when Zepheera was a year old, her father died in her nursery in a terrible calamity, the source of which could be traced back to Zepheera herself. With Tack’s death, something broke inside Klerida and was lost forever. She became very hateful toward Zepheera, taking advantage of the child’s healing factor to physically abuse her. This shifted more toward mental abuse when Klerida remarried and had another child named Kernel.
By then, Zepheera was old enough to spend more of her time with her father’s brother, Boston. He was kind to her, taught her everything he knew
Zepheera ran away from home at age 17 and soon thereafter ceased to age. She’s had decades to separate herself from her childhood and move on with her life, but one thing lingers from those days that will not leave easily: Zepheera is terrified of becoming a parent, almost deathly so. The last thing she wants is to somehow end up like her mother.
This fear blinds her to the fact that she’s actually great with kids, very protective and no-nonsense yet fun-loving and encouraging.
Out of seven likenesses of Zepheera, six fell to their knees writhing in pain as the Doctor sauntered into the room with a noise maker. The one that wasn’t an alien brightened and hurried to join her friend.
Being four and a half inches tall, she naturally crossed the room at a much slower rate than the Time Lord, and suddenly he was standing over her, the noise maker still going on. Ever aware of his borrower companion, the Doctor came to a stop when she approached him, staring pointedly at the alien doubles of Zepheera as he continued to spin his strange weapon against them.
“I think you got em!” Zepheera called up, glancing back at her copies. Most of them had fallen unconscious from the sensory overload their extremely sensitive ears were experiencing.
Looking back at the Doctor, he gave the noise maker a few last turns for good measure, then bent down to offer a hand to his tiny friend.
“And a happy new year,” he quipped, lifting her to her usual spot on his shoulder.
The borrower blinked hard, dazed. The voice– her Time Lord’s voice was loud but distant to her ears. barely breaking through the ringing that filled her head. Heat and smoke surrounded her, along with rough blurry shapes, some stationary and looming and others towering and moving fast.
It came back to Zepheera in pieces; landing in the middle of a battle, being separated from the TARDIS and then from the Doctor. Something hit Zepheera, knocking the breath out of her as she tumbled to the ground. Everything was chaos, and the Doctor was calling her name.
He was getting closer, she could tell. His voice was louder, and the ground beneath her started to tremble with more rhythmic force that the nearly constant low rumble of the battle. Zepheera blinked again and tried to sit up, but she was pinned from the waist down by a chunk of rubble. The pressure dawned on her, and she gave a pained moan, coughing involuntarily.
Zepheera had always been able to heal remarkably fast, but she was not invulnerable. If she was hurt badly enough, she would certainly die. And at four and a half inches tall, to say that this was a useful ability would be an understatement. The fact that she was still alive despite the weight on her waist and legs was a good sign.
“Doctor!” she croaked, propping herself on her elbows and craning her neck to find her giant friend. She bit back a wince as more tremors– footsteps getting closer and closer– aggravated her lower body wounds. It was worth it to see the shape of her friend come into view.
But he didn’t see her right away. His hearing was usually accurate to the point of being uncanny. In the chaos of battle, however, everything was thrown out of balance. He knew better than to wander aimlessly, but Zepheera’s heart sank at how panicked he looked, eyes manic as they searched desperately for his tiny companion.
“Where are you?!” he shouted over the commotion. The battle was escalating, and the Doctor and Zepheera were both unarmored and unarmed.
“Down here!” she yelled back, waving one arm widely and doing her best to be as visible as possible.
The Doctor’s eyes finally landed on her, and he quickly hunched protectively over her as he removed the debris pinning her down. Naturally, he fretted over the state of her legs, but Zepheera assured them that they were starting to heal; she could feel it the moment she aligned the bones. The larger of the two needed to focus on getting the both of them to safety.
Zepheera clung to an inexplicable hose dangling from the ceiling to the console, the four-and-a-half inch tall woman slowly climbing up the notches one by one to be closer to eye level with her Time Lord and human companions.
“Do you have any idea where you’re going?” Donna demanded of the Doctor as he piloted the TARDIS. Usually she and Zepheera just accepted the turbulent nature of the time machine in flight, but today’s trip seemed particularly rough.
“Of course!” the Doctor scoffed in time with another hard shake of the TARDIS. Zepheera’s grip tightened on the rubbery handholds. Both giants braced themselves against the console, and the borrower suddenly regretted her decision to stray from her usual spot on the Doctor’s shoulder.
That regret didn’t last.
“I’ve just gotta adjust the– criminy!” The Doctor was thrown across the console, Donna against the seat behind her. Zepheera let out a startled cry, wrapping her arms and legs around the hose as it swayed widely. The monitor blipped desperately, and the Doctor swore under his breath, shoving himself to his feet and throwing several levels. The entire company breathed a sigh of relief when the TARDIS seemed to even out.
“What the hell was that?” Zepheera snapped, craning her neck to glare at the Doctor.
The Time Lord locked eyes with Zepheera’s tiny violets, and he held a hand underneath her so she could peel herself from the hose and land in a heap in his palm.
“Got a little too close to twenty-sixteen,” he said by way of explanation.
“What’s up with twenty-sixteen?” asked Donna, gathering herself.
The Doctor shot a dire look toward his human companion and the woman in his hand. “…Spoilers,” he muttered, lifting Zepheera to his shoulder.
She and Donna had learned not to question him when he said that word.
Too political? Probably.